SAHARA Energy has embarked on a massive distribution of free re-usable face masks and flyers targeting ordinary Zambians as the country battles to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
According to company representative Christine Maseka, more than 200,000 free masks will be give out for free.
Since breaking out last December, the Coronavirus has infected over 2 million people and killed close to 200,000 worldwide.
Zambia currently has 74 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 which has caused three deaths.
President Edgar Lungu has declared wearing face masks in public as one of the measures to slow down spread of the lethal virus.
Acting on President Lungu’s directive, Sahara Energy yesterday kicked off the distribution of the free masks to travelers and people working at Inter City bus Terminus in Lusaka before moving to Matero Market then Lumumba Bus station.
Yesterday’s distribution ended at City Market although Maseka said the exercise will continue.
She said the total cost of the masks to be distributed is K250, 000.
Maseka explained that the distribution was in line Sahara Energy’s corporate social responsibility.
She explained that the masks were targeted at long distance and local passengers, mall shoppers and marketeers.
“We are following the Presidents declaration that it is now mandatory for every Zambian to wear a mask. We took it upon ourselves to help the ordinary Zambians with cloth mask, considering surgical masks are very expensive now. So we took up the initiative to donate face mask to people at the bus stations, shopping malls, to markets as well. This is just to help fight the coronavirus,” said Maseka.
“We have engaged local tailors just in line to support them during this period. As you are aware, the economic times right now are not so friendly. We have engaged 20 local tailors just to help us sew reusable facemasks. And to help an ordinary Zambian who cannot afford surgical mask.”
Clara Kalengo, a passenger who received a mask thanked Sahara Energy for joining the fight against COVID-19.
“We are very happy, because we are now prevented from getting the virus. We are too many in this bus. We don’t know who are infected and those who are not,” said Kalengo.
And InterCity bus operator Henry Simutowe urged other stakeholder to emulate the Sahara Energy.
“Thanks to Sahara Energy for giving us this masks that are reusable because most of our passengers cannot afford the mask. This coronavirus is real, we have to be very careful,” said Simutowe.
©Kalemba April 25, 2020 Pictures by David Ng’ambi